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Performance Profile – Ken Block


What kind of vehicles do you have?


I have a big variety of vehicles. I have a Ford® truck because I still ride my dirt bike and need a truck around the house. My main daily driver is a Mercedes-Benz CLS 55. I also have a home out in Utah where I have several vehicles, including two STIs and an Outback. In California, I also have an STI that I occasionally use for various events such as time attack and gymkhana – that has 530 horsepower at the wheels.


Did you build that yourself?


No, there’s a local shop here called Crawford Engineering – Crawford Performance – that has built it up for me. []


How do you go from driving as hard and fast as you can on a stage to going out on a public road?

There’s some type of switch, I guess. When we used to show up at a rally, I would make my wife drive me all around, because once I got the feeling in the car, I didn’t even want to drive a rental car. But now I’ve been able to separate it more and more.


Once we get near the stage, I start getting mentally ready for that clock to start. I mentally get into a different state of mind.


Alex [Gelsomino, Block’s co-driver] and I have a routine that we do every time before a stage. It’s very simple stuff. As we get to the stage and we wait, I stretch and get my heart rate up. I go for a little jog. Once we get in the car, he reads part of the stage notes. I have a little routine of what to turn on before the stage, like the antilock and the diff setting – all that sort of clicks in your mind to get you in a certain mental program to be able to attack the stage.


And once I’m done, I’m sort of relieved. Then you kind of go into the process of what did we do, where did it go wrong, where did it go right, what was our stage time compared to the other guys – start analyzing things so the next time – in the very next stage – we’re ready. OK, I’ve got to adjust, I have to go faster here, I made this mistake, so I have to correct it.


It’s really a constant process, and, at this point, I’m in such a routine that turning it on and off is done very methodically and very planned out. You just have to do that over and over and get better and better at it to really develop your skills.


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